Dairy Australia paving the way with investments into dairy farm innovation
Dairy Australia is committed to investing in innovative ways of increasing the profitability and sustainability of dairy farms across Australia.
In 2019/20, approximately 80 per cent of Dairy Australia’s expenditure was directed towards innovation activities such as research, development, and extension under government matching funding criteria. These activities continue in 2021 and beyond.
These activities were driven by collaborating with and building on existing partnerships with governments, Australian organisations and global partners.
Some of Dairy Australia’s ongoing innovation programs include:
DairyBio is the dairy industry’s leading bioscience research program and is a joint venture between Dairy Australia, Agriculture Victoria and the Gardiner Foundation. DairyBio focuses on using cutting-edge genetic science and big data to help our industry to remain strong and adaptable. The DairyBio forage program projects are designed to breed plants with higher yield, higher energy and higher persistence for future commercial release and is on target to deliver, by 2030, an improvement in pasture productivity of $800 per hectare per year.
The DairyBio animal program is on target to improve animal productivity by $350 per cow per year through delivering new and refined Australian Breeding Values (ABVs) for improved health and reduced environmental impact and creating new tools for the detection and management of health events.
The proposed program for the next iteration of DairyBio is currently being designed and Dairy Australia would like to work with farmers and hear their thoughts to help shape this program now and in the future.
Complete this short survey before 13 April to let us know your thoughts on the program.
Visit DairyBio to find out more about the program.
DairyFeedbase is one of the dairy industry’s leading applied research innovation programs. It is designed to revolutionise feedbase management on Australian dairy farms.
A joint venture between Dairy Australia, Gardiner Dairy Foundation and Agriculture Victoria, DairyFeedbase was launched in 2018 and uses the latest technology and bioscience to significantly improve on-farm profitability.
The project has the potential to see returns to the industry of $100 million a year within 10 years.
DairyFeedbase plans to deliver easy-to-use digital tools and real-time information to improve decision-making in the paddock and strategically allocate feed at an individual cow level.
Visit DairyFeedbase to find out more.
DataGene is an independent and industry-owned organisation responsible for driving genetic gain and herd improvement in the Australian dairy industry and is an initiative of Dairy Australia and industry. It is responsible for developing modern tools and resources to drive genetic gain and herd improvement in the Australian dairy industry through research, development and extension activities.
Genetics contributes about 30% of production gains on Australian dairy farms. DataGene’s mandate is to increase the rate of genetic gain in Australian dairy herds and its evaluation system underpins these gains. A key goal is to increase the number of dairy farmers using Australian Breeding Values (ABVs) and indices such as the Balanced Performance Index to make breeding decisions.
Genomics offers the opportunity for a quantum leap in genetic gain. DataGene and Dairy Australia are collaborating on a flagship project to accelerate the rate of genomic testing of heifer calves on Australian dairy farms and to support farmers to make informed decisions using these results.
Genomics analyses a DNA sample from a calf, such as ear tissue or a tail hair sample, to reliably predict future performance. It can be done as early as birth, so farmers can make early decisions about a calf’s role in their herd. Samples are easy to collect and can be taken at the same time as routine husbandry procedures such as ear tagging or disbudding.
Visit DataGene to find out more.
Dairy Australia investments driving innovation
Investments in innovation are focused on increasing farm productivity and the global competitiveness of the Australian dairy industry by providing practical tools, services and advice to assist farming operations and the dairy supply chain.
This included research into new feeds to produce more and better-quality milk, genetics to improve cow health, irrigation to grow more productive pastures, business capability and people development.
Find out more about Dairy Australia’s innovation projects at Investing in Innovation.